The Pacific Ocean is vast. It is the largest ocean in the world covering one third of the Earth’s surface and containing 20,000 to 30,000 islands.
These islands, collectively called the Pacific Islands, are further categorized into three major groups – Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia.
The four independent countries of Fiji, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea are located in the Melanesia region. There are also four main island groups in Micronesia: the Caroline Islands; the Gilbert Islands; the Mariana Islands; and the Marshall Islands.
The area of Polynesia – which comes from a Greek word meaning ‘many islands’ – forms a triangular shape with New Zealand in the South West, the Hawaiian archipelago of islands in the north and Easter Island in the south east.
So when it comes to Pacific islands, there are plenty to choose from if you’re looking for a vacation option. But how to find the best Pacific private island resorts – those unspoilt, island gems that fulfil every Robinson Crusoe fantasy of a desert island boasting palm-tree backed beaches, powder-soft, white sand and sensitively-built accommodation. Read our guide to learn more about the best private islands in the Pacific.
Fiji is a Melanesian island nation that is made up of more than 300 islands and 540 islets in the South Pacific and is a castaway’s dream.
Known as the ‘soft coral capital of the world’, Fiji is popular destination for diving and snorkeling with abundant marine life.
Some of the best private island vacations in the Pacific can be found on the Mamanucas and Yasawa Islands, a chain of beautiful palm-fringed islands that extend in an arc off the coast of Viti Levu, Fiji’s largest island and home to its capital Suva.
This is Fiji’s gem that attracts thousands of visitors from around the world, yet manages to remain remarkably undeveloped. There are no buildings that are higher than a coconut palm and even on the most popular islands you can find your own stretch of secluded beach.
The focus in the Mamanucas and Yasawa Islands is relaxation. You’ll spend your days here sunbathing, snorkeling or scuba diving with easy sightseeing trips to hikes between small villages or treks to hilltops to watch the sun set.
These Fijian islands boast the best beaches and some of the best private islands in the Pacific, including the luxury, privately-owned Turtle Island Resort, home to just 14 light-filled bures – Fijian villas – spread over 500 pristine acres.
Private island vacations in the Pacific Turtle Island style are all about relaxation and taking things at your own pace – you might want to grab a gourmet picnic hamper and head to your own private beach, there are 12 beaches at Turtle Island, so plenty to choose from.
Daily activities range from snorkeling, stand-up paddleboarding, sailing and fishing in addition to new activities including archery, fly fishing and spearfishing. And then there are the wellness treatments that can be enjoyed in the bures as well as the Spa.
Turtle Island’s five-acre vegetable and hydroponic garden on the island now supplies 80% of the produce enjoyed by guests. The vegetable garden is now completely organic, using only natural growing and pest management methods, and flavour-infused sea salt made using fresh herbs from the gardens such as parsley, dill, sweet basil, sage, fennel and lemongrass thyme – the perfect accompaniment to the local fish and seafood sourced daily from the surrounding waters. The gardens also contribute to tea-making using hibiscus flowers, soursop leaves and lemongrass.
Turtle Island was also named as one of the Top 2 Resorts in the South Pacific & Australia in the Conde Nast Traveler 2022 Readers’ Choice Awards.
Fiji also offers adventurous vacationers some of the best pacific private island resorts with off-the-beaten-path islands like the lush dive havens of Tavenui and Vanua Levu or Kadavu.
An instantly Instagrammable destination known for its palm islands, impossibly white and volcanic black beaches, and turquoise waters, Tahiti is one of the frontrunners forPacific private island resorts.
The largest island in French Polynesia, Tahiti is 4,400 km south of Hawaii, 7,900km from Chile and 5,700km from Australia and is divided into Tahiti Nui (the larger, western section) and Tahiti Iti (the eastern peninsula).
In 2021 a new Pacific private island resort opened on a 75-acre motu (free islet), located in the lagoon of Raiatea. The luxury resort offers South Pacific splendor in the form of thatch-roof Polynesian architecture, washed up coral the villas’ walls, locally-sourced cuisine and available on an exclusive basis for no more than six guests at once.
Other Pacific private island resorts in French Polynesia boast overwater bungalows hidden among coconut trees, facing lagoons filled with abundant wildlife.
Tahiti is just one of the 115 islands of French Polynesia spanning five archipelagos, offering style, luxurious accommodation and myriad options when it comes to private island vacation in the Pacific.Activities here range from spending a lot of time in the water, diving with reef sharks and manta rays in Tuamotu Atolls, immersing yourself in the culture with a Tahitian dance performance during the July Heiva Festival and hikes to waterfalls on Tahiti, Moorea and the Marquesas Islands.
Just a 50-minute plane ride away, northwest of Tahiti, Bora Bora is a small South Pacific island and perhaps one of the most beautiful islands in French Polynesia. It is surrounded by motus (islets) and a turquoise lagoon which is protected by a coral reef. You’ll head to Bora Bora for the sensational scuba diving, overwater bungalows and luxury private island resorts – of which there are plenty to choose from.
Rarotonga & the Cook Islands
Located halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand (who administer the islands), the Cook Islands are a Polynesian nation of 15 islands renowned for their exceptional snorkeling, white sand beaches and breathtaking lagoons.
On the lush, main island of Rarotonga – an extinct volcano that rises 5,000 metres from the seafloor – the best Pacific private island resorts are boutique, exclusive hideaways with a Polynesian welcome and beachfront bungalows. Here it’s all about the infinity pools with views of the lagoons, private champagne dinners on the beach and sunset sailing trips to tiny beaches.
A French overseas territory in the South Pacific, New Caledonia boasts several Pacific private island resorts on the Ile des Pins, in the heart of the New Caledonia Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and on IlotMaitre, where overwater villas are obligatory and access is via complimentary boat transfer.
Popular with Australian, with a flight time from Sydney of just under three hours, a private island vacation in the Pacific in New Caledonia offers a tropical escape with French style, sophistication and cuisine.
A huge barrier reef – the second largest in the world after Australia’s Great Barrier Reef – surrounds the main island, Grand Terre, making it a hit with snorkelers and SCUBA divers.
The outlying islands of Ile des Pins and Ouvea offer remote day trips with some of the Pacific’s best beaches while French Caledonia’s capital, Noumea, is home to French-influenced restaurants and luxury shops.
Samoa & American Samoa
The Samoan Islands are divided into the two countries of Samoa and American Samoa, both remain very traditionally Polynesian. The Pacific private island resorts in Samoa are only a short five-hour flight if traveling from Sydney.
In the heart of the South Pacific, between New Zealand and Hawaii, Samoa is known as the Treasured Islands of the South Pacific. They’re all about crystal clear turquoise waters, lush rainforest walking trails and pristine reefs with plenty of marine life.
Resorts on private islands boast waterfront ocean-view villas, views of the Pacific Ocean and sprawling mountains plus plenty of activities to keep you entertained. Evenings can be rich with Samoan culture with ‘fiafia’ nights – celebratory evenings where you can immerse yourself in dance, song, music, food and unique fire and knife displays.
Vanuatu is a South Pacific vacation destination comprising 83 islands that stretch out over 1,300km. The islands offer scuba diving at coral reefs, underwater caverns and wrecks such as the WWII-era troopship SS President Coolidge.
The archipelago has a lot to offer for people looking for the best private islands in the South Pacific including world-famous beaches including Champagne beach on Espiritu Santo – volcanoes and delicious cuisine.
Popular with Australians due to its short flights, Vanuatu is the place where James A. Michener wrote his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Tales of the South Pacific, about soldiers, sailors and nurses playing at war and waiting for love in a tropical paradise – a must-read for anyone contemplating a South Pacific vacation.
EXPLORE TURTLE ISLAND FIJI
For thebest private islands in the Pacific take a closer look at Turtle Island Resort. This privately-owned luxury island in the Fiji’s Yasawa Group offers vacationers an idyllic escape that you only have to share with 13 other couples and the friendly Turtle Team.
See yourself here? Then get in touch with us today.